*HP HDX 9000 DRAGON Owners Lounge, Part 2*

Discussion in 'HP' started by 2.0, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. remdale

    remdale Notebook Evangelist

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    They lied (or simply were not aware of 4GB modules). The max is 8GB
     
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  2. Apollo-HDX

    Apollo-HDX Notebook Guru

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    As remdale stated, there's some misinformation in the manual because the true limit is 8GB. When I bought my first Dragon, I removed the two 4GB Crucial modules from my HDX18 and installed them in my Dragon with no issues whatsoever. All the memory was recognized in Win 7. A few months ago I acquired my second Dragon, which is a different version, and installed the same 8GB Crucial RAM that was in my first Dragon. Again no problem.
     
  3. TheReducer

    TheReducer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hello, lounge members! I've been really thankful for all the information shared on here, particularly the various upgrade options.
    I could use some help with my HDX9200, please. Sorry for the long post, but I figure sharing all the information will help you to help me.

    It has 2x2GB RAM (4GB total).
    Optical drive is a BluRay.
    Boot drive is a Crucial SSD, 2nd drive is 7200 rpm original Hitachi drive.
    OS: Win7-64 bit, hope to upgrade to Win10-64bit soon
    I run this laptop with no battery, as the original battery is long gone bad and caused rebooting when I stopped using it several years ago.
    This machine has been solid and reliable for years. I've had it running as a media center PC for much of its life - right until I decided to do some maintenance on it last weekend.

    Repairs and Cleaning:
    1) Both CPU and GPU fans were running loudly for quite some time now, so I bought exact replacements on eBay and replaced both fans.
    I strictly followed steps in the service manual when disassembling and reassembling, as I've done before.

    2) While I had the machine apart, I figured I'd replace the original CMOS battery on the motherboard with a fresh one. Original battery lasted 12 years, and it's lots of work to take it all apart again to get at the CMOS battery under the motherboard. Tested old and new CMOS batteries with multi-meter to confirm that the new CR2032 was putting out at least as many volts as the old one. Old was about 2.7v, new was about 3.1v - which seemed good to me.

    3) Finally, I blew a bit of dust off the motherboard assembly with compressed air - especially the cooling fins that fit against the fans. There really wasn't all that much dust - this isn't the first time I took apart the machine to clean it.

    But, after reassembly:
    Plug in power cord - blue power LED lights up at back of computer above power port.
    Press power button - fans start, touch panel lights come on, optical drive whirs a bit off and on, off and on, off and on endlessly. No beeps, screen stays completely black.
    No response to any keyboard input.

    I can't actually remember if this machine normally beeps once after successful post. But, no beeps now.
    I also don't remember the key to press to enter BIOS at startup - maybe [DEL]?

    : (

    Things I've tried:
    1) Removed optical drive. Same black screen, just now I don't hear the optical drive whirring anymore.
    2) Connected external display to VGA port - still just black screen. Pressing F4 to toggle between displays has no effect.
    3) With AC cord disconnected (and no battery as always), pressed and held power button for 60 seconds to drain all power. Plugged AC cord back in, powered on - no effect.
    4) Removed RAM and cleaned contacts thoroughly with rubbing alcohol. Reseated RAM. No effect.
    5) Removed wifi card, TV tuner card, both HDDs and optical drive.
    Power on: touch panel LED lights came on again, fans run, but nothing else.
    6) Took HDX apart again, hoping I missed plugging in a cable or something else. Did not see any problems with reassembly.

    So far, I have not removed the CPU or GPU or heatsinks. I have replaced CPUs and dismantled/cleaned GPUs on desktop PCs before, but not on a laptop. I am willing to tackle this, and have thermal paste ready, but was hoping for some advice from more experienced technicians before I take more stuff apart on this machine.
    I have to acknowledge that it's possible I've somehow managed to wreck the motherboard, but think I was careful with it and have worked with quite a few boards in the past.

    I'd really appreciate any ideas you could share, please. I hope it is possible to get this dragon breathing again.
    This computer is still my favourite and I'd love to keep using it for years to come!

    Thanks in advance,
    The Reducer
     
  4. remdale

    remdale Notebook Evangelist

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    Normally it doesn't at all.
    I would recommend you to get a mPCIe POST card. It could show you at least something. You could figure out where it gets stuck at each boot.
     
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  5. kimutler

    kimutler Notebook Evangelist

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    , try booting up the HDX with RAM and HDD installed and shine a flashlight on an off angle towards the center of the screen to make sure that there is nothing on the screen. If the backlights are out, you can still make out an image when you shine a light on it. If you see any image on the screen, then it means your inverter died


    But definitely try the flash light trick. It might just be that your inverter is dead. BTW, you won't get any image out of HDMI or VGA unless you boot to Windows. And even then, depending on driver or Nvidia control panel settings, you might have to set the output manually if the external screen isn't auto detected.

    Blinking codes could indicate some failure in the mobo. But there is no guide to determine what the blink codes mean. But the usual blink codes are with the numlock and caps lock keys. Are those blinking on yours?

    And the harddrive light flashing, are the intervals between blinks the same or random? Does it occur with no HDD installed?

    Did you try getting it to boot with just the RAM installed?
    try with one stick of ram at a time ?
     
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  6. TheReducer

    TheReducer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks!
    I looked into getting a mini PCIe post diagnostic card, as you suggested. This does look to be a very useful tool. I found some on AliExpress and eBay - not sure if there's a better Canadian source for one of these. I think I may order one soon.
     
  7. TheReducer

    TheReducer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the ideas! I never would have thought of the flashlight trick!

    I continued reviewing my work on re-assembling the HDX.
    Eventually, I tried this again two more times:
    With AC cord disconnected (and no battery as always), pressed and held power button for at least 60 seconds to drain all power. Plugged AC cord back in, powered on.
    Then, I removed the top RAM stick, leaving only the bottom RAM stick in place.
    After this, it started!!!!!!! YES!!!!

    Shutdown, put the 2nd RAM stick back in, started the machine up, and it now works perfectly with both RAM sticks in place!
    I will run a MemTest overnight to make sure both RAM sticks are still stable, but I expect they are fine as they've passed multiple tests in the past.

    Confirmed:
    a) No beep with successful post.
    b) F10 is the key that gets you into BIOS
    c) F9 is boot device menu.

    Now, on to upgrading to Windows 10 once again (had it running in Sep 2016 before reverting to Windows 7).
     
  8. kimutler

    kimutler Notebook Evangelist

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    good to know it sorted it, I had this problem a few times in the past after complete strip down when changing the CMOS battery with number of dragons i had.
     
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  9. TheReducer

    TheReducer Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks again! Do you have any idea why pulling one stick of RAM out after changing the CMOS battery resolves the problem? Is it a matter of CMOS detecting hardware has changed and so runs differently on startup?
     
  10. kimutler

    kimutler Notebook Evangelist

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    every time when I have stripped down a dragon with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD2600XT or Nvidia GeForce 8800M GTS models, it was only noticed when I went to power them up, so I found it by trial and error when I changed hardware, the only denominator I come to was the COMS battery, as then your computer day month year is back to the setting when the computer left the factory I did not have any problem if I did not touch the COMS battery
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
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